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JUNE 2021

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Ideas for a te rric summer, from outdoor dinin g spots to a towering art exhibit

Setting up 10 new Batavia Boardwalk Shops p offer handcrafted, local goods — page 15

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Your Local


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Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignons ~ Boneless Ribeye ~ Prime Rib T-Bone ~ Bone-In Strip Steak ~ N.Y. Strip ~ Porterhouse We dry age choice & prime cuts of American Beef and cut them to your specs!

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Engstrom Plaza • 716 West State St., Geneva (Entrance on 7th Street)

630-262-1878 • 5/19/21 11:45 AM


NOTE Happy summer! Patio dining, ice cream cones melting in the sun and winning friendly competitions at mini golf: These are the things I’m happily anticipating this month. Well, maybe not winning… I found myself really connecting with each of our family columnists’ stories this month. Dining columnist Katie McCall writes, “From a young age, our parents taught us to care for the land, plants, animals and all of its bounty.” She goes on to describe hiking, picking wild black raspberries and searching for morel mushrooms, all of which I enjoyed and grew up doing with my family, too. Her column made me want to spend more time outdoors, and I hope you’ll feel the same. Family columnist Jonathan Bilyk — ahem, I meant Suburban Superdad — writes, “This is it, people. The moment you’ve been rehearsing in your mind for more than a year has finally arrived.” He means, of course, the summer in which things feel normal once more. I moved to St. Charles during the pandemic, so I relate to this wholeheartedly. I am counting down

the days to experiencing a more normal summer in my new home! And lastly, Families on the Fox owner Chrissy Somers’ call to action made me want to get outside. Now. She writes, “Now that Mother Nature has (probably) decided she would stop the snowfall, it’s time for us to take advantage of all the nature centers, bike trails and that beautiful river in our backyard.” Enough said there! This June issue is all about enjoying our region’s warmest months. Whether that means trying a new brewery (P. 28), exploring the Batavia Boardwalk Shops (P. 15) or visiting the new exhibit at the Morton Arboretum (P. 44), there’s something for everyone.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Hannah Hoffmeister, Editor

on the


Meli Bernas’ shop, Pretty Pages, opened at the Batavia Boardwalk Shops in late May, along with nine other businesses. Photo by Kathy Green, RCG Photography. Read more on P. 15. Next month: What does Americana mean to you? Our July issue will celebrate all things summer!


PUBLISHER Daily Chronicle & Suburban Weekly Group Laura Shaw 630-709-4497 EDITOR Hannah Hoffmeister 630-427-6263 DESIGNER Allison LaPorta 630-427-6260 LOCAL SALES MANAGER Kane County Chronicle & Niche Publishing Jaclyn Cornell 630-845-5234 CORRESPONDENTS Jonathan Bilyk, Katie McCall, Vicki Martinka Petersen, Spencer Plum, Melissa Rubalcaba Riske, Chrissy Somers, Diane Krieger Spivak, Chris Walker and Kelley White.

This magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send your request with payment information to Shaw Media, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at

Published by Shaw Media 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014



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8 SCENES OF SPRING Head outdoors to appreciate the natural sights of spring and summer

35 GRAB A BOOKMARK Two book recommendations to check out in June

13 GET UP & GET OUT 9 free or affordable spots for summer fun, suggested by family columnist Chrissy Somers

36 FOR THE LOVE OF TENNIS The sport offers a multitude of social, physical benefits

14 CALENDAR Concerts, arts events and more — here’s what’s happening in June 15 BETTER TOGETHER 10 new Batavia Boardwalk Shops offer exciting variety of handcrafted, local goods 20 CHECK OUT THE ARTS IN ELGIN Spend time outdoors this summer with Elgin’s public arts walking tour

DINING & ENTERTAINING 22 A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Celebrating a lifetime of inspiration from Katie McCall’s childhood home 26 EAT HEALTHY, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE OUT Digestive expert Dr. Tarun Mullick heads to Buttermilk in Geneva 28 BREWING: IT'S AN ART Art History Brewing in Geneva draws from European styles & flavors 31 MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK More protein, that is — the scoop on local new company Bangarang Foods 32 RIVERFRONT RENOVATION Eden Restaurant & Events reopens with updated menu, patio and more


38 SORRY, TOO BUSY Use this phrase with caution, says Superdad, especially when it comes to parental visits

HOME & LIFESTYLE 39 ‘I WANT THE SPACE TO BE REFLECTIVE OF THEM’ The Pep Line is now available in the Tri-Cities 40 NO NEED TO BEE AFRAID Wasco Nursery on understanding the role of honeybees 42 SPRUCE UP YOUR BACKYARD Lights, inviting furniture and flowers can make your space an outdoor oasis

ART & FASHION 44 HUMAN+NATURE The size of the Morton Arboretum’s newest exhibit rivals its infamous trees 46 ARTIST OF THE MONTH Lisa Dienst-Thomas experiments with new ways to create jewelry

BUSINESS & CIVIC 48 OWNER BEWARE Tom McCartney and Sharon Piet on identifying liabilities in your retirement plan offerings 50 SUMMERTIME TOYS Harry Stout on making sure you’re covered when it comes to boats, ATVs and more



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CHILDREN • FAMILIES • SENIORS • HEADSHOTS Thank you for voting RCG Photography among the th BEST OF THE FOX for the consecutive year!


Book your session today!

Kathy Green, Mill Creek resident

630.251.3696 • •

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 Didier’s tulips flourish at Mt. St. Mary Park.

scenes of Head outdo outdooors to appr appreeciate the the natural tural sights sights of of sprin springg and summer in Kane County Ph o to s by Spenc Spencee r Pl Plu m, Spenc Spencee r Pl Plu m PPhh oto oto g raph rap hy

B  Eastern redbud blooms abound at Mt. St. Mary Park.


eauty is everywhere in Kane County. Where do you go to appreciate the outdoors? Whether it’s the Fox River Trail, a county park or even your own backyard, time spent in nature is time well spent.

Local photographer Spencer Plum headed outside to document spring and early summer sights. Here’s just a peek of what you may see on your own adventures.


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 A sunbeam finds its way through a majestic tree at Pottawatomie Park.


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 Take the stairs at Pottawatomie Park’s James H. and Joann N. Collins Tower to see this view of the Fox River, facing north.

 This Delnor Woods Park trail is lined with beautiful wild blue phlox.


 Creeping Charlie, also known as ground ivy, gets a dose of sunshine at Pottawatomie Park.


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When one adventure ends, another begins — and for me, that means a new chapter in South Carolina. Thank you, Kane County, for allowing me to share my work with you!


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er We makieeotvies

100 var ed of Smok d Meats an s Sausage

Ream’s Meat Market

Burgers Steaks Chicken Kabobs Our Own Italian Beef Smoked Pulled Pork Homemade Deli Salads Meat and Cheese Trays National Grand Champion Bratwurst Beef Wieners and more


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 Peyton Somers enjoying the shallow water feature at Pottawatomie Park.

With Chrissy Somers,


e have been waiting TOO LONG for decent weather and a normal season after the pandemic. Now is the time to get up, get real clothes on and GET OUTSIDE! Now that Mother Nature has (probably) decided she would stop the snowfall, it’s time for us to take advantage of all the nature centers, bike trails and that beautiful river in our backyard.

Visit for a complete list of activities on our SUMMER GUIDE, but I’ve planned a day’s worth of adventures in each town to get you started! Try some of these outdoor activities, all of which are FREE or relatively inexpensive because… budgets!

ST. CHARLES  POTTAWATOMIE PARK You can easily spend an ENTIRE day here. Between the beautiful path alongside the Fox River, River View Miniature Golf Course, the park that sits nestled in the hill, kayak and pedal boat rentals, paddlewheel riverboat cruises and more, there is no shortage of fun to be had here. Pack a picnic lunch and spread your blanket out on the banks of the Fox River!  BLUE GOOSE MARKET If you don’t want to pack a lunch, just walk over to Blue Goose from Pottawatomie! Enjoy some freshly

grilled brats, hamburgers, hot dogs, steak sandwiches or veggie sandwiches right on the patio. The wine bar is also open inside BGM!  KIMMER’S ICE CREAM After lunch, you’ll want some ice cream to cool you down. Kimmer’s has an inspiring story behind it — ask about it when you head in there! I LOVE getting the “Chocolate Covered Strawberry” shake, but it’s hard to resist their sparkle cones. Seriously, they have cones with edible sparkle sprinkles! You need to try one.

GENEVA  GENEVA FRENCH MARKET Sundays are better at the French Market. Located on the corner of South and Fourth Streets in the commuter parking lot, you will find local artisans, shops, growers and food options available. I can’t leave the market without something from Hahn’s Bakery and Alice’s Corner!  MILL RACE CYCLERY Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard for some adventures on the Fox! Did you know that Mill Race Cyclery will even shuttle you back to the shop once you reach the end of your adventure?! YUP!  STATE & THIRD STREET SHOPPING Window shopping is FREE (but

certainly a challenge with so many cute things available to purchase at all the shops)! For a list of shops and restaurants listed by category, visit my website. And the first Friday of each month, several participating shops are open until 8 p.m.!

BATAVIA  BATAVIA BOARDWALK SHOPS Ten unique businesses each take over a “tiny house” and use it as their storefront from May to December this year. You will also find live music, popup events and live demonstrations! With so many food options just steps away, spending the afternoon at the Boardwalk is easy.  RIVERWALK AND PEG BOND CENTER FREE concerts in the park almost

every Wednesday from June 2 to Aug. 4! The River Rhapsody Concert Series is hosted by the Batavia Park District. There are even movies in the park immediately following the concerts the last two weeks of July!  HALL QUARRY BEACH About 60,000 square feet of swimming makes you feel like you’re anywhere BUT the Tri-Cities! Enjoy the only beach in our area! Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Reservations are required. It’s starting to feel like a normal summer! #ExploreMore by getting outside and enjoying all the Tri-Cities have to offer! For more SUMMERTIME information, visit Happy exploring, friends!

Chrissy Somers is the owner of Families on the Fox, a website that serves as a free resource to the Tri-City community. A daily events calendar, indoor fun resource guide, seasonal events, pre-planned date nights, adult funn outings, and more can be found when you visit Photo by Katie Kaltz Photography


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JUNE 2021



Clip this page out







Did someone say buttery popcorn? Join Batavia Popcorn Depot at 4 p.m. for its ribbon-cutting.

First Friday celebrations in Aurora this year include food trucks. You won’t want to miss this one!

Fox River Arts Ramble — celebrate artwork and culture at 17 venues throughout Kane County.






Compiled by Melissa Rubalcaba Riske

















For Father’s Day, celebrate the dads in your life with a barbecue, a night out or family time along the Fox River.

Celebrate National Selfie Day by taking a selfie at your favorite Kane County spot!



Swedish Days concludes with the Chocolate Crawl. Have you bought your ticket yet?




can Hang it on your fridge so you offer! to has e Jun t celebrate all tha

Cantigny Park’s outdoor summer series returns with a 3 p.m. concert by rock band Voyage.

We’re looking ahead to concerts, arts events and more — here’s what’s happening in Kane County

Geneva Public Library hosts a storytime event at 9:30 a.m. for children in preschool and elementary school.

From 6 to 9 p.m., view Water Street Studios’ newest exhibit at its “Second Friday” event.

St. Charles Park District hosts One Night Band at a 7 p.m. outdoor concert. Check online for details.

Let the weekend fun start early with Batavia’s Thursday Night Art Market, 6-9 p.m. along Water Street.

The Swedish Days Festival in Geneva may look different than in years past, but you can still expect plenty of fun.


Check out the Batavia Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to noon.

Juneteenth: This day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S.





Mark your calenndcea!rs in adva

Wellness Weekend in St. Charles, Sept. 18-19! Expect body, mind and spirit booths featuring local Fox Valley health and wellness organizations, along with giveaways, a children’s race, the Fox Valley Marathon races and more.


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10 new Batavia Boardwalk Shops offer exciting variety of handcrafted, local goods

hile preparing to host a holiday party for her book club, Meli Bernas racked her brain trying to come up with gifts for attendees.

By Chris Walker Photos by Kathy Green, RCG Photography, and provided by EV Creative

Little did she know at the time, but the gifts were already resting on the bookshelf.

“I created these little trees that I made out of book pages,” Bernas says. “I had some left over that I sold on the neighborhood Facebook page, and it took off from there.” Now, it’s just four years later and Bernas has turned those successful handmade Christmas gift creations into her own business. She brings new life to old stories OUTDOORS & RECREATION JUNE 2021

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at her Pretty Pages shop, where she upcycles pages from books to create exclusive home decor and gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. “If you are a book nerd, I’m your person,” she says. “One of the most popular listings is whatever book is really special to them and making a wreath from it. I get people who bring sheet music from their wedding. I get to do very cool custom work and one of my favorite things about doing this is getting to do new things.” Pretty Pages is one of the 10 new 2021 Batavia Boardwalk Shops that will be open through Dec. 19, 2021. With their own personal tales of how they’ve become business owners to the wares that they are selling, the mix offers an ultracool shopping experience, especially to those looking to interact with and support small local businesses. “The eight tiny businesses that opened up last year in May helped to attract more visitors to our community and around town to shop

our already existing small retail, restaurant and service businesses,” says Jamie Saam, Boardwalk Shops manager. “We are optimistic that this year will be a huge success yet again with some amazing new businesses including floral shops, home decor, a vegan bakery, artists and more.” This second year of the Boardwalk comes on the heels of a tremendously successful first year — six of the first eight businesses have proceeded to move on and open their own brick-and-mortar locations in downtown Batavia. “It’s been fun to meet all the people,” says Maria Pensinger, co-owner of Mojo ReCreations with her mother, Joette Callarman. “I’ve always needed a creative outlet because my brain doesn’t stop. Meeting all these people, I’ve got so many friends now that are lifelong friends. It’s so awesome to meet people that are like you and so many people are as nutty as we are.”

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Pensinger bought a pair of handmade mittens over 10 years ago and figured out how to make her own. It led to designing handbags, and suddenly Mojo Re-Creations was doing business. “Sometimes we’ll design a pattern but usually we’ll design our own stuff,” she says. “We do a lot of tweaking and we customize in shop.” In addition to handbags, shoppers will find zipper pouches, dog collars and more at the Mojo Re-Creations Boardwalk Shop. They’ll find rare plants and original artwork at CatTalpa Manor as owner/artist Abbey Estes collects and sells rare and unusual houseplants. “I really never expected to be a shop or have a business side of it, but it’s really been interesting to talk to everyone else,” Estes says. “I just never saw myself as a business; I’m an artist and a plant lover.” Now she’s devoted to sharing her knowledge and love of plants with the public. “The last couple of years there has been such an influx

of rare plants that the market has blown up,” she says. “I discovered these funky plants that I didn’t know that were out there and I want to hopefully make them a little more accessible to the general public.” Estes is as crazy about plants as she is about cats, so she’ll let her customers know which ones can coexist. “I will have pet-friendly plants, so there will be cat stickers on a lot of plants,” she says. “I also collect quirky catrelated things, weird cat mugs, cat plates and a lot of vintage things. In my kitchen I made a chandelier out of old piano keys so I like to take old things and make it something new and I’ll have stuff like that in the shop as well.” Located at the corner of Wilson Street and Route 25 (114 E. Wilson St.), the Batavia Boardwalk Shops are open Fridays (10 a.m.-7 p.m.), Saturdays (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sundays (noon-4 p.m.).

Red Hive Market is a charming home decor boutique specializing in unique one-of-a-kind artisanal gifts and distinctive products for Makers and DIYers. % W& WILSON ST&# BATAVIA# IL • %$!-$)%-(!'% • W W W& R E D H I V E M A R K E T&CO M OUTDOORS & RECREATION JUNE 2021

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Rent our Beautiful Courtyard for any Occasion!

 BLACK ANGEL DESIGNS Owners Cortney and Graig Kinzler make handcrafted stone coasters and wood signs that feature Chicagothemed art, vintage images, pop culture and humorous home designs, as well as T-shirts, hats, stickers and more of their designs. Instagram: @blackangeldsgns Facebook: Black Angel Designs Website:

Housed in a Charming 8000 Sq. Ft. 100 Year Old Barn

Multi Dealer Market

Wed & Fri 10-5, Thur 12-7, Sat 9-4, Sun 9-3, Closed Mon & Tues

Shoppers will delight in our area’s widest selection of barnwood furniture, vintage, primitive & modern boutique rolled into one. Farmhouse furniture and decor, boutique style clothing, jewelry, man-cave, boho, MCM, antiques, gourmet goods and gifts.

475 W. Army Trail Rd • Bartlet IL 60103 630-326-8858 •


 BUMBLEBEE COTTAGE APOTHECARY Sarah Stupegia has combined her love of gardening, foraging, sustainable living and holistic wellness to create body care products that give bodies and the planet the respect they deserve. She also shares her expertise and passion through workshops and special events. Instagram: @thebumblebeecottage Website:  CATTALPA MANOR A stay-at-home mom who calls herself “a crazy plant lady and a crazy cat lady,” Abbey Estes is the mother of two toddlers and a longtime artist who

feels drawn to care for and distribute rare plants, and to make original art. Facebook: CatTalpa Manor

 EV CREATIVE Emily Velazquez is a graphic designer, illustrator and crafter who decided it was time to build her own brand with stickers, stationery, clay earrings, pins, plant hangers and other handmade goods that she’s thrilled to share with the Batavia community. Instagram: @emily_velazquez_creative Facebook: Emily Velazquez Creative Website:

 FARMDOG FLOWERS Founded last year in the midst of the pandemic, owner Gerrit Husar’s flower farm specializes in sustainably grown, fresh flowers and floral design. Husar hosts workshops and frequently posts about different types of flowers and the adventures of growing both his business and garden. Instagram: @farmdog_flowers Facebook: Farmdog Flowers Website:


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 FOX VALLEY GALLERY OF WOOD What do you get when you take four woodturners from the Fox Valley area looking to sell their objects? The Fox Valley Gallery of Wood. Partners John Dillon, Rich Hall-Reppen, Andy Kuby and Rich Nye stock bowls, spoons, utensils, jewelry, vases, pet urns, wall hangings, bottle stoppers and more.

delicious baked goods with a focus on sustainability and local ingredients.

Instagram: @fox_valley_gallery_of_ wood

 PRETTY PAGES Calling all bibliophiles and those who love them. Meli Bernas has always loved to design, be creative and read, and she’s combined those attributes to create home decor and gifts made from upcycled book pages and sheet music.

 MOJO RE-CREATIONS Daughter-mother team of Maria Pensinger and Joette Callarman started making and selling mittens at craft shows in 2010. Today they make a variety of handmade products, including handbags, zipper pouches, wallets and more, combining their creativity and handiwork into their sewing machines. Facebook: MoJo Handbags Et-Cetera Etsy: MoJoReCreations Website: www.mojo-recreations.

 NEW MOON VEGAN Last year, owner Jo Colagiacomi launched her vegan bakery, which is highly influenced from her upbringing in Staten Island, New York. Heck, even her mom, Diane, helps her make

Instagram: @newmoon.vegan Facebook: New Moon Vegan Substack: Website:

Instagram: @prettypagesco Facebook: Pretty Pages Etsy: PrettyPagesDesigns

Has Expanded! DOUBLE THE SPACE DOUBLE THE VENDORS GORGEOUS NEW AND VINTAGE HOME DECOR AWAITS YOU Tuesday-Saturday 10-5 / Sunday 11-4 1501 Indiana Avenue, St. Charles 630.803.5253

 WANDERIN’ BAREFOOT FARM Jillae and Wesley Dalmolin believe that good, healthy food should be available everywhere, and they’re doing their part by bringing organically grown produce, herbs, honey, chicken and duck eggs, jellies, jams, beeswax candles and bars, soap, vintage farmhouse decor and more to Batavia. Instagram: @wanderinbarefootfarm Facebook: Wanderin’ Barefoot Farm Website:


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in Elgin The Elgin area arts scene is one of the biggest hidden gems in the suburbs — following this itinerary ensures you will visit all of the must-see spots, including a self-guided public arts tour By the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

 Day 1 Start your weekend by booking at one of the Elgin area hotels; a full list of hotels can be found at Once settled in, head into downtown Elgin for the farmers market that takes place every Friday during the summer. This open-air market is a popular place for local artisans to sell their goods. If you happen to stop by in the evening, you’ll love the dazzling lights strung up through the downtown area. Next check the calendar because the Elgin Symphony Orchestra is coming back with a fun twist this year. To ensure the safety of the orchestra and the audience, ESO will be performing at Goebbert’s

Farm in Pingree Grove for its concert series called Fridays on the Farm. Head over and enjoy an outdoor performance if you have the chance!

 Day 2 Start the day with a quick bite and a handcrafted coffee before walking around downtown Elgin for the self-guided public arts walking tour. Public art can be seen all around the downtown Elgin area, and the tour will take you on parts of the scenic Fox River Trail, making it a great tour to take while the morning is still cool. Spend time strolling through the area and appreciating the art. There’s also a number of antique and artisan

shops that can be enjoyed along the way! When the day starts to heat up after the walking tour, saunter over to Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery. The team that runs this tattoo shop is incredibly talented, and you can find the artists’ work in the form of murals around town and on the bodies of locals as well. Because of the artistic prowess of the owners and employees of this shop, artwork is displayed throughout the shop, which is why this location is a tattoo shop and an art gallery. The last gallery for the day is located nearby at Side Street Studio Arts. This gallery features themed exhibitions that go on throughout the year.

As evening starts to roll in, take in a movie or concert in a nearby park. Festival Park is a great park for kids as well as for some relaxation by the river. This park is also home to Elgin’s Movies in the Park event. To enjoy some music, take a quick drive to Wing Park to enjoy a Concerts in the Park event during the week. There’s a nearby concert venue in West Dundee that specializes in rock music: Rochaus. This venue hosts a lot of fun and exciting groups. Be sure to check out the event calendar to see who is playing when you are in town. Spend your evening strolling through one of the unique downtowns in the Elgin area or head back to your hotel for a relaxing last night in the Elgin area.

CHECK OUT TRIP IDEAS AND WEEKLY EXPLORE ELGIN BLOGS FOR INSPIRATION. Visiting www.ExploreElginArea or any of the @ExploreElgin social media accounts is the first step to a relaxing time with your loved ones.



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To an underground artan scene we go To underground art scene we go Explore an outdoor art tour, enchant your ear with an open air symphony, rummage

through vintage treasure troves, wander an art gallery. It's time for a creative escape—the onlyart thing missing is you. Explore an outdoor tour, enchant your ear with an open air symphony, rummage through vintage treasure troves, wander an art gallery. It's time for a creative Discover your full itinerary at escape—the only thing missing is you.

Discover your full itinerary at @ExploreElgin #ExploreElgin #EnjoyIllinois

SM-CL18 0 10


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a fresh take




ver the years, I’ve been asked where the unique moniker for our bakery — Two Wild Seeds — originated. Lacking the buzzwords for a bakery (read: sugar, sweet) we’ve even been mistaken for a birdseed retailer. The short answer is it began as a lifestyle blog my sister and I (aka the “Two Wild Seeds”) created as a means to stay connected when our lives took us to opposite ends of the country. The name later transferred to our bakery when my mom and I opened the brick-and-mortar location in 2016. But

the long answer digs a bit deeper … Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve felt an innate connection to nature. For some, being outdoors is a mere pastime or specially planned trip. For me, it’s a constant, essential way of life. My two older siblings and I were raised on the same four acres of rural, wooded property in Yorkville where my mom grew up, originally purchased by my grandparents in 1950. Aside from the house itself, the sprawling yard boasts two large ponds, a small


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Add Some Love to Everything You Cook!

An Olive Oil Experience Select from over 60 different extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world. Unique Gift Baskets Available. Homemade Skincare Products made with Olive Oil: Soaps ~ Lip Balms ~ Moisturizers

See Us for New Vinaigrette Recipes!

Store Hours

Mon-Fri 10am-6pm ~ Thurs 10am-8pm ~ Sat 10am-5:30pm ~ Sun 11am-4pm

315 James St. • Geneva, IL • (630) 262-0210 •

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! cottage, gardens, a chicken coop, a big red barn (once home to my mom’s horse, Goldie) and decades of memories. From a young age, our parents taught us to care for the land, plants, animals and all of its bounty. We spent countless hours hiking through the meadow along the neighboring creek, building tree forts in the woods, picking wild black raspberries for my mom’s coveted jam, camping, destringing beans from the garden, catching bugs, fishing with our dad, building bonfires, and perhaps the most anticipated annual tradition: foraging for morel mushrooms. Every spring we’d retreat to our secret spots with hopes of unearthing the elusive fungi, which reveal themselves a mere two to three weeks each year. Outfitted in boots and brimmed hats, we’d scour the tick-infested, poison ivyladen forests, eyes peeled like snipers, searching for these natural treasures. As the years clicked on, school, work and relationships picked up my family like seeds in the wind and scattered us, at times, thousands of miles apart. But one thing remained constant: knowing we could always return to our wild roots right where it all started — at home.

Today we take pride in and care for our own homes, gardens and families, yet we’re continually drawn back to the sanctuary where we grew up. The time-honored traditions are now passed down to our children, and with hearts full, we watch them explore the same paths, pick from the same berry bushes and learn the same life skills we once developed. This deep-seated connection to nature and the memories of our childhood served as the inspiration for Two Wild Seeds, and anyone familiar with our bakery knows it’s much more than a sweet shop. Our tried-and-true family recipes often feature locally grown produce, and the retail items, such as our custom-label “Mom’s Garden” candle and ceramic camp-style mugs, nod to our upbringing. With that, I hope that after reading this, you, too, feel a spark inside to lace up your boots and head outside. Shelve the day’s to-do list, silence your phone and take a walk to unleash your wild side … listen to the echo of birds chirping, inhale the sweet scent of prairie grass humming in the breeze or savor a warm, juicy, just-picked berry. I promise you won’t regret it.

 Katie McCall is a bona fide Midwestern girl. Raised on four acres of rural property in Yorkville, she was taught to respect nature and all of its bounty. From foraging morel mushrooms in the woods to picking wild raspberries for homemade jam, Katie feels most at home when in nature and preparing food for others. When she’s not running the downtown St. Charles bakery Two Wild Seeds, she can be found nose-deep in cookbooks, exploring the outdoors with her family — and eating … always eating. Photo by Victoria C Photos.

Serving Breakfast All Day Long Come Try Our Mexican Food Mention this ad for 20% off your purchase!

630 W. State St., Geneva (331) 248-0646

Offer expires 7/15/21

Readyto ride? Looking for local bike trails? Find the 2021 Fox River Trail Guide at Coming soon to the local park districts and most retail locations noted below.

A picture postcard .

w w w. f o x r i v e r b i k e t r a i l s . c o m DINING & ENTERTAINING JUNE 2021

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Pollyanna Brewing Co.

106 S. RIVERSIDE AVE., ST. CHARLES 630-549-7372 | WWW.POLLYANNABREWING.COM Pollyanna Brewing & Distilling in St. Charles provides relaxing riverside views while enjoying award-winning craft beer and craft cocktails from spirits made on sight. Located on the Fox River Trail, bikers and walkers can pop in for refreshments mid-trek. The patio is dog friendly so bring your "best friend" along. With additional taproom locations along the I&M Canal in Lemont and on Main Street in Roselle, a relaxing Pollyanna experience can be enjoyed throughout the suburbs.

Aurelio's Pizza of Geneva 330 W. STATE ST., GENEVA 630-262-8440

Located in the heart of downtown Geneva, Aurelio’s Pizza of Geneva offers pizza ranging from our signature thin crust to our delicious thick crust. Before the pizza, enjoy great appetizers including our fresh caprese or the refreshing bruschetta. During the hot summer days come enjoy our summer cocktails like our red or white sangria or the new premium margarita. If you’re looking for something more hoppy, come try one of the 15 beers on draft including local selections from Penrose Brewery. Enhance the dining experience by eating out on our beautiful patio. The gorgeous setting offers spacious seating and weekly live music from many local bands. So come join us all summer long because Aurelio’s is Pizza.


306 W. STATE ST., GENEVA (630) 208-7070 | WWW.STOCKHOLMSBREWPUB.COM Out back and tucked in a nook with the neighboring building, protected by a high fence and covered with a shade sail, Stockholm’s patio is a little intimate dining gem. Voted the Western Suburbs' best neighborhood tavern by the readers of both the Kane County Chronicle and West Suburban Living Magazine, Stockholm’s is known for its expansive menu of freshly prepared meals using only the highest quality ingredients. You can also enjoy its handcrafted beers, brewed in an old world tradition, naturally conditioned and unfiltered, from the Tri-Cities' oldest brewery.



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Chime & Stave

40W188 CAMPTON CROSSINGS DRIVE, ST. CHARLES 630-549-6537 | WWW.CHIMEANDSTAVE.COM Discover your neighborhood craft cocktail and dining destination located in Campton Hills near the Fox River Trail. Enjoy daily seasonal drink specials and American-inspired, artisan meals made with the freshest ingredients. Experience live music on our relaxing patio with your family as well as your furry best friend — we offer a pet menu! Enjoy $5 bloody marys and mimosas on Saturdays and Sundays. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for entertainment dates and daily specials.



A short walk down the Preservation alleyway reveals an unprecedented outdoor dining experience in the Fox Valley. Our open-air patio sits under an artfully constructed pergola with a retractable roof for the sunny days, and industrial sized heaters for the cold. Our menu features creative comfort classics, artisan cheese & meats, eclectic cocktails and a first-class wine list. Whether it’s “spilling the tea” at lunch with friends while enjoying shimmering cocktails at our outdoor bar, or getting out of the house for a romantic night of live music with your partner, Preservation can provide that special dining experience that you’ve been looking for.

El Molcajete

227 S. THIRD ST., SECOND FLOOR OF THE BERRY HOUSE, GENEVA 630-457-5348 | WWW.ELMOLCAJETEGENEVA.COM Start your dining fiesta with a view of downtown Geneva while relaxing on our patio, located on the second floor of the Berry House. Our menu features authentic burritos, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and house specialties. Try our famous jalapeño margarita, or select from over 10 varieties of handcrafted margaritas — they're all made with fresh fruit, fresh lime juice and organic agave nectar. You can also choose from our large variety of Mexican beers as well as sangrias and mojitos; you're sure to find something to tempt your taste buds! See our website and Facebook for monthly specials and guacamole of the day.


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ooray for summer! As life begins to head back to normal, don’t forget how much you enjoyed outdoor dining last year. It’s important to support our local restaurants. Come with me and do takeout at least twice a week. There are so many places around town that are serving great food, but one irresistible spot is Buttermilk. Breakfast, brunch or lunch, this place packs a punch! They have a lot of wonderful choices that kick your meal up a few notches. This time I ordered the Alabama Hot Chicken Benny, which is a Southern-style eggs Benedict gone wild!

The two homemade cheddar scallion biscuits are topped with a fried chicken thigh and glazed with this amazing hot pepper jelly.

Topped with two fried eggs, white cheddar and a white barbecue sauce, this eggs Benedict is filled with protein and fat. The fat and protein are reasonable to keep with a keto-friendly goal. To keep from overdoing it on the carbs, I gave one of the biscuits to my significant other. One bite of this eggs Benedict had me tap dancing (at least my taste buds). My significant other enjoyed the pancakes — but not just any pancakes. It was the Banoffee Pie Pancakes, stuffed with bananas and chocolate chips and topped with toffee sauce, graham cracker crumbles, banana slices and chocolate. Since I gave one of my biscuits away, I traded for a bite of this delectable dish. A kiss of sweet rather than a plunge is my secret. It was the perfect topper to the wonderful meal.

 Dr. Tarun Mullick is a specialist trained at Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic in Gastroenterology and Endoscopy based in Geneva. Connect with him at or by phone at 630-232-2025.



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WWW.DEDUCTIBLESHOP.COM IT'S YOUR DEDUCTIBLE! Why pay thousands more for care, tests, repairs MEDICAL - AUTO - HOME - VET (PETS)

Ask the doctor

It is my honor and privilege to serve the community and readership of this publication. Our practice’s focus is to care for patients, to help them and tailor their care individually with current therapies.

Q: Does colorectal cancer screening work? A: Yes, the data suggest that the effects of proper screening

and surveillance work well. The key is to get it done and with appropriate follow-up. Don't neglect. And if you have family history, start at 45. And if you have any symptoms, then prior.

Q: What is NASH? A: NASH is Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis. This is a liver disease

where the fat deposits in the liver and turns to scar over time, causing liver cirrhosis. It is truly a rising concern in the world now. If you are concerned, get screened with some liver tests; if elevated, then go to the gastroenterologist. We help several with that problem.

Q: Has the screening age of colonoscopy for cancer changed to 45?

A: Yes, recently a study was done that demonstrated a significant increase in colon cancer for current 27-year-olds compared to a 27-year-old from 40 years ago. This prompted the change of the guidelines for men and women to get screened with a colonoscopy at age 45 rather than 50.

Q: Do you offer telehealth? Many practices don’t? What do you think about that?

A: Yes, we offer telehealth. This means you can get treatment

without leaving your home. We will only bring you in for necessary tests, and you can choose locations away from hospitals, which likely have more serious COVID-19 patients. It’s safer to go to smaller practices and centers away like ours. In general, it appears telehealth is here to stay for years to come. It presents an alternative. And, for those, who don’t like waits — we call you. Thus, you can continue to do whatever you need to in the meanwhile.

LOSE WEIGHT NOW! Connie, Batavia -- “Lost 44 lbs, with Dr. Mullick’s recommended system, and it stayed off.”* Jamie, Geneva -- “Lost 12 pound in my FIRST MONTH!! It really works.

Call for appointment 630-232-2025

Pay LESS for your colonoscopy or endoscopy.

Facility Fees are significantly lower. Cost of health care is going up. Pay less for your test. We are JCAHO certified. Met your Deductible?? Get in before year end. Save on your deductible. Pay LESS. Heartburn, Diarrhea, Constipation, Liver Disease, Pancreatitis, Abdominal Pain, Colitis, Crohns/ Ulcerative Colitis, Gallbladder, Rectal Bleeding We have quality doctors and team on staff to serve you well. Its our honor to take care of you.


2631 Williamsburg Ave 301. Geneva, IL. Call now for your appointment. 630-232-2025

IF YOU DO BREAST CANCER SCREENING, GET COLON CANCER SCREENING. It affects men and women BOTH and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. It is VERY important to get this screening done - colon cancer is beatable and treatable if caught early enough through colon screening.


Dear Dr. Mullick, My family never had polyps or cancer. Do I really need a colonoscopy? Jane Dear Jane: Great question. Colon cancer can affect anyone, regardless of family history. Everyone over age 45 should get a colonoscopy. If you have family history you should start at age 40 or 10 to 15 years before the youngest relative with a problem. Screening helps reduce risk.

Dr. Mullick, I’ve got bloating and gas. Sometimes I have diarrhea or nausea after I eat. Could I have food allergies? My doctor said it’s IBS (irritable bowel). Kristen

Dear Kristen: Yes, food intolerances to lactose, sucrose and fructose are common, so you may need to avoid those. We have tests in the office for that. The symptoms of IBS and food allergies are often similar, so testing for food allergies is reasonable. We can test for that, too. We have helped many patients diagnosed with food allergies, so it’s not all IBS.


Get colon cancer screening. Beatable, Treatable, Preventable in most situations. S. from Geneva. “I am glad I had my colonoscopy done at the American Colonoscopy and Endoscopy center. I had some polyps removed and that will likely prevent a cancer. The facility was wonderful and it saved me money.”

LET’S BEAT IT! 630-232-2025.







PERIPHERAL NERVE TEST Certified center & trained team. Call now for your clinic appointment and test date. 630-232-2025. PPO, Medicare, and Cash payment accepted

*Results may not be typical.

ANSWERS: Summer, Fatty, Colonoscopy, Telehealth, Flowers


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By Jonathan Bilyk | Photos provided by Art History Brewing



here are many brewmasters well versed in both the art and history of beer.

invite their friends and neighbors to share that experience right in their own proverbial backyard.

For Tom and Cindy Rau, however, there is nothing quite like the experience of tasting that history. So they say it has become their goal, and their passion, in using Geneva’s newest craft brewery, Art History Brewing, to

“There is nothing like tasting beer in the region where it was originally created and currently brewed by those who know the style best,” says Tom Rau, owner of Art History Brewing. “Delving deep into the history as part of the World Brewing


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 ART HISTORY BREWING 649 W. State St., Geneva 630-345-6274

Academy, training with German brewmasters and traveling to other regions in Europe, leaves an indelible taste ‘memory’ of those beers. “Making them here at home in Geneva is both a challenge and incredibly rewarding.” The couple’s love affair with beer begins long before the idea of opening a craft brewery in the Tri-Cities became even a glimmer in their minds’ eye. In fact, it began long before they may have even heard of the Tri-Cities. In the 1980s, as Rau tells it, he first began experimenting with homebrewing and traditional styles of beer in his old home of Toronto. A decade later, that led him and his wife, Cindy, to travel Europe, following the writings of English author and “Beer Hunter” star Michael Jackson, and soaking up the history of beer brewing in Germany and other hotbeds of beer history. Amid a lengthy career in the corporate sphere, the couple landed in Geneva in 2006, where they raised their family and still reside today. In the intervening years, the couple continued to sample new beers and breweries whenever they could, visiting more than 250 breweries throughout Europe and North America. In 2018, however, Rau decided to continue following his brewing passion. He enrolled in the World

Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany, where he “trained with German brewmasters in Munich and traveled throughout Germany and the Czech Republic to learn the craft, as well as the business of running a brewery.” Upon his return home, the business plan that would become Art History Brewing began to take shape. He began to look for a space to lease, centered on Geneva. “We wanted to be close to downtown,” he says. “It’s a vibrant and developing food, beer and shopping hub.” The idea was straightforward: Celebrate both the art and history of beer brewing. On one hand, the brewery would produce beers that would reflect the “historically accurate European styles” Rau had learned to craft from the masters. That emphasis on history would go down to the design of the label. For instance, Art History produces a brew called Good Night Bamberg, a “Rauchbier, or smoked beer” that has remained popular for centuries in Germany’s Franconia region. “What we try to do is tie a specific piece of art or architectural movement … to the beer we are brewing,” says Rau. For Good Night Bamberg, that meant choosing artwork and a font for the label that “represents the city of Bamberg during Gothic times.”

“What we want to represent with our brand is the authenticity and tradition of brewing and the love of art and architecture of those times,” he says. On the other hand, though, Tom and Cindy say their brewery would also join in the “expressions of artistic creativity” that have characterized the “trending, hop-forward styles” at America’s burgeoning craft breweries. To combine those elements, the Raus chose the name “Art History,” drawing from the title of the academic major being pursued by their daughter at DePaul University in Chicago. The brewery also makes wall space available on a regular basis for local artists to display their creations. Just two months before Art History was to open its doors, however, the unthinkable arrived, as the state of Illinois closed indoor dining for months in response to the pandemic. The Raus, however, forged ahead, committing to “hire, train, brew and bet on the eventuality of getting through this pandemic.” They sold their beer in cans and served patrons at outdoor tables, along with limited indoor seating, when available. “There has been amazing support from the community, local restaurants and bottle shops, our customers, Geneva city government and the chamber of commerce, all contributing to our ability to keep things going during our first year,” says Rau. “That’s DINING & ENTERTAINING JUNE 2021

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not to say we weren’t operating at a loss, but we knew that the quality of our product, the amazing staff we assembled and the unique positioning we had in an ever-crowded craft brewery scene here in the Fox Valley would set us up for eventual success.” Today, Art History offers a lineup of around 30 different styles of beer. About a third of the offerings are lagers, including smoked lagers and other regular and seasonal varieties. Art History also offers a selection of English-style beers, such as cask conditioned ales. All of the beers are served in “a convenient



downtown location with outdoor seating, and a bright modern taproom … a very comfortable place for beer lovers and beer explorers to spend time in.” Art History brews can also be found in “several of the famous European and craft beer bars in Chicago,” and cans at independent bottle shops throughout the Chicago area. The Raus say they are still betting on the future, adding tanks to increase brewing capacity and considering opportunities “in the near term to expand our reach.”

daycare • boarding • $/113!2$ $.*).-(& .+ *,%,'&

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pandemic forced him to pivot his business plans, which initially relied on introducing folks to his portable snack with tastings at grocery stores, sports competitions and other community events.

Dale Hastert, founder and CEO of Bangarang Foods, stumbled upon the idea of creating a highprotein pudding. It took a few iterations until the product was commercial ready last year.

Instead, he worked with Dennis Piron, head football coach at Batavia High School. Hastert provided samples to players on the football team as well as kids on a local youth football league Piron also coaches.

Bangarang snacks boast 22 grams of protein in one serving and are gluten-free, according to the Bangarang website. To make the cake, you mix the contents with 1/4 cup water or milk and then follow the package instructions to transform it. “It’s a snack you can eat three ways — a pudding, lava cake or a cupcake,” he says.

Hastert paid it forward by working with students in Piron’s entrepreneurship class at the high school. “The class got a pretty thorough look at how to run a small business,” he says. “For example, I taught them what makes a good product photo and how to make sure it matches the company’s brand identity.”

This kid- and adult-friendly snack food is not only a healthy option, but helps active kids who might be deficient in protein. It comes in four flavors: Cake Smash, Cocoa Loco, Gimme S’more and Cinna-Bomb. “These pudding cakes have as much protein as a quarter-pound of lean meat,” Hastert says.

Students learned about creating a product formula recipe, problem solving techniques, creating a brand identity and story, and running social media campaigns. The class also toured grocery stores to learn how to get a product on the shelves.

ost days it can be challenging getting your kids to eat healthy foods. For one Batavia man, the proof is in the pudding (cake) to help kids — particularly student-athletes — up their protein intake.

To launch his endeavor, Hastert drew upon his background in the natural products industry as well as his skills in supply chain, marketing and distribution. Like many small businesses, the

“It has personally shown me that my dreams are attainable,” says student Kaley in a news release from the company. She adds that she would like to start a food business herself. “The success of your business comes down to your team and passion for what you are doing.”

WANT TO TRY THEM YOURSELF? HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN FIND THESE HIGH-PROTEIN SNACKS:  IN STORE ANGELO CAPUTO’S FRESH MARKETS, 622 S. Randall Road, South Elgin (and other Chicagoland locations) BERKELEY FINER FOODS, 28 S. Van Buren St., Batavia BLUE GOOSE MARKET, 300 S. Second St., St. Charles WOODMAN’S MARKET, 151 Hansen Blvd., North Aurora (and other Chicagoland locations)  ONLINE AMAZON BANGARANG FOODS,, $24.99 for eight

WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM? “The word Bangarang stands for all things awesome!” the Bangarang website says. “It represents the idea that with imagination, we can transform drab and ordinary into something wonderful.”


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RENOVATI RENOVATION E D E N R E S TA U R A N T & E V E N T S R E O P E N S W I T H U P D AT E D M E N U , PAT I O A N D M O R E By Diane Krieger Spivak | Photos provided by Eden Restaurant & Events


fter COVID-19 temporarily shuttered Illinois restaurants last fall, Omar Musfi used the closing as an opportunity to take his Eden Restaurant & Events to a new level. The result has brought back longtime fans — from as far away as Florida — to St. Charles to see the upgrades.

Musfi took on a new partner, Jamal Amro, and made sweeping changes while keeping true to Eden’s Mediterranean roots. To those who loved it before, with its reopening in April, you have the chance to reconnect once more


with the upscale eatery along the Fox River. To those who haven’t had the pleasure, now is the time to take in the experience, which includes a new name, upgraded menu, renovated interior and patio, increased capacity and live entertainment. The renovation doubled the capacity to 2,000 square feet by enclosing Eden’s popular outdoor patio on the river, adding a roof and screens. “We opened the restaurant from the inside to the outside with panoramic glass doors, so now the entire restaurant is considered outdoor

seating,” says Musfi. Eden can now seat up to 200 people, whereas it previously could only seat 85-90, inside or outside. Additionally, the patio can be heated in the winter, so patrons can enjoy unmatched views of the Fox River year-round. “We had a lot of requests for events but we couldn’t accommodate larger groups before,” says Musfi. Now Eden can book weddings, showers, corporate events and more. They’ve changed the menu, notes Musfi, taking


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care to note the food will maintain its authentic Mediterranan roots, but with a more modern flair and expanded offerings, including Spanish, Greek and Moroccan. Eden’s new chef, Raul Reynoso, has teamed up with Musfi to modernize authentic recipes “in a way to appeal to more people,” says Musfi. “For example, with our chicken skewers we use seasoned couscous instead of rice now. The presentation is different, the plates are even different. It’s more an upscale fine dining restaurant.” An expanded wine list and more craft cocktails are also on the menu, like the handcrafted Bravo Jalapeño, made with Montelobos Mezcal, roasted pineapple, jalapeño and freshly squeezed lime juice, “shaken, to create the perfect smooth tropical balance.” With exposed wood beams, brick interior walls, murals and cloth table coverings, Eden contains “industrial, elegant and rustic elements” at the same time. Why come to Eden? Musfi sums it up: “The view, the food, the ambience and the live music. Live music is big for me.” Musfi, an internationally known percussionist who performed with the Syrian National Orchestra, holds a master’s degree in music and is a professor of music. “Food and music put the restaurant together,” he says, noting Eden’s music is different from most other venues, offering flamenco, Latin jazz, South American, Greek and Indian. “I try to


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bring different cultures to the restaurant,” he says. The music is just one of the things Maj Panfil loves about Eden. “I love the flamenco dancing and the singing,” says Panfil, who is a regular customer. “They’re always there on weekends. It’s one of my favorite places.” Panfil, who is half Middle Eastern, says the food is “close to the home cooking I grew up with. My

children love it, too.” Her favorite is the sampler platter, with hummus, baba ghanoush and dipping sauces with warm pita bread. “What’s shocking is how fabulous their burgers are,” adds Panfil. “I’m a burger fanatic. It’s how they season the meat. It doesn’t even need ketchup.” Tony Nicolas, also a regular, recently came back for the reopening after relocating to Florida. “It’s a

unique environment when they do live music events, and the food is awesome. Their craft cocktails make it unique,” says Nicolas. “It’s always a special place to visit. It doesn’t feel like a regular restaurant.”  EDEN RESTAURANT & EVENTS 1 Illinois St., St. Charles 630-945-3332

Make Yourself at Home! Monthly Food Specials Outdoor Patio Seating Dine In or Carry Out Seasonal Brews $3.50 Daily Handcrafted Beer Specials Try Raider!s Root Beer (ABV 7.5%)

306 W State Street Downtown Geneva 630-208-7070



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Grab a ng Slow down this summer by catchi up on your “to be read” list. We’ll be doing the same! Here are two recommendations for your June reading list, courtesy of the y. librarians at Geneva Public Librar

 FOR YOUR KIDS OR GRANDKIDS: “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Joy McCullough

 FOR OUR READERS: “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love” by Dani Shapiro

Turning 10 is hard enough, but it’s even more challenging when your single parent is in a new relationship — with the parent of someone in your class! “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Joy McCullough is middle grade realistic fiction suitable for readers age 8-12. The story centers on Luis and Sutton, who have a lot going on in their lives — especially now that Luis’ mom is dating Sutton’s dad! Sutton loves science and is having robot problems. She’s also afraid her mom won’t be home in time to celebrate her 10th birthday. Meanwhile, Luis dreams of writing a book, but he’s having trouble writing exciting stories when his life is so ordinary — and restricted by his asthma. As the relationship between their parents gets serious, Luis and Sutton experience a lot of changes and spend a lot of time together. Now they have to figure out how to get along with each other. This is a charming and humorous story with authentic characters. Kids will get to know both characters well because the chapters alternate between the two of them. As Luis and Sutton encounter serious issues, they learn how to be tolerant of other people and open-minded to change. It’s a fun book that will speak to readers going through a lot of changes in their lives, too. — Ruth O’Brien, library associate

Dani Shapiro is a memoirist, novelist and host of the hit podcast “Family Secrets.” And she has a most unexpected and gripping story to share in her book “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love.” This is a great selection for a book club — or find a reading buddy because you’re going to want to talk about this book when you’re done reading. Shapiro acknowledges: “All my life I’ve known there was a secret.” What she didn’t know? The secret was about her. On a lark, Shapiro takes a DNA test, which shows she’s 52% Jewish. She thought she was 100% Jewish. After comparing her results with her half-sister’s test, Shapiro realizes her beloved father, who is no longer alive, is not her biological father. Her life changes in a moment as she realizes this secret has been kept from her for more than 50 years. Comments and memories from her life float back to Shapiro as she searches for her biological father and pieces together her parents’ infertility story. She wonders: What combination of memory, history, biology and experience make us who we are? This book is a nuanced and vulnerable look at a secret uncovered and how it impacts so many people. Shapiro reads the audiobook version, and listening to her read about her own life makes the story all the more poignant. — Ruth Glen, library associate


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FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPORT OFFERS A MULTITUDE OF SOCIAL, PHYSICAL BENEFITS By Sara Carlson | Photos provided by St. Charles Park District


earning tennis at a young age builds the foundation for playing a lifelong sport, and the St. Charles Park District helps children starting at age 4 develop those skills — and a love for the game.

children at their level, helping them learn and progress age appropriately. New this summer at Pottawatomie is Red Ball Elite for ages 4-7 and Orange Ball Elite for ages 8-10 to further develop and hone skills, ideal for children who want to up their level of play.

Located at both Pottawatomie Community Center and Norris Recreation Center, tennis instructors meet

Offered through MTL Tennis Management, other

Celebrating Over 30 Years

Pottawatomie Golf Course Most Beautiful Golf Course in the Fox Valley! Mo

Golf Course Open through Dec 23 Weather & Conditions Permitting

Green Fees through September M-F SaSu & Holidays 9-Holes $18 $20 Tee Times Twilight* $14 $14 BookOnline!

Skyline Tree Service was established in 1988 and is family owned and operated. After 30 years of service, we still hold strong to our original commitment to excellence to provide our customers with quality tree care services.

* Walking only. Times subject to change throughout the season due to change in daylight hours.

A facility of the St. Charles Park District • In Pottawatomie Park • 845 N. Second Ave.

630-584-8356 • OPEN Weekends

Fun ‘FORE’ Everyone!

thru May 30 Aug 14 to Sep 26


OPEN Daily

May 31

630-584-1028 •


Crabapples are sprayed in the early spring, when the leaves start forming.

Fully Insured


Aug 10

18 Holes of Challenging Miniature Golf Scenic Views Along the Fox River 9 Holes Wheelchair Accessible Daily Specials & Group Rates Kayak & Pedal Boat Rentals Concessions In Pottawatomie Park • 8 North Ave.

Save your Ash trees, EAB injections for the Emerald Ash Borer.

Now is the time to call an arborist to have them create a 2021 PHC plan for your landscape

Pin Oak on the left was treated with iron, tree on the right was not.

Plant Health Care: Plant health is concerned with Ecosystem health with a special focus on plants. The control of plant pests and plant pathology, e.g. by plant disease forecasting and taking necessary countermeasures for your tree’s health.

Certified Arborists




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lessons at Pottawatomie include options for ages 4-17, from Red Ball for the littlest players to develop agility, basic movement patterns and volleying, to Jr. Development 2 to focus on complex coordination, understand game situations and experience singles and doubles match play. New this summer at Norris is a match play league for youth with other clubs in the area, according to Norris Tennis Pro Supervisor Bill Dahm. Eligible for those enrolled in Challengers Plus and up, players will have the opportunity to apply their skills from lessons in match play scenarios. The Norris match play league is in addition to lessons for children through high school ages, from Hot Shots to learn basic techniques to Challengers to experience game-like drills and further develop techniques, up to Tournament Training. Both Pottawatomie and Norris tennis programs use specially-designed equipment for younger players. Norris’ summer lessons are held at St. Charles East High School’s outdoor courts; Pottawatomie’s lessons are held outdoor in the park. Both facilities have access to indoor facilities in the case of inclement weather. There are numerous physical benefits to playing tennis at any age, but for children in particular, the game provides aerobic and cardiovascular exercise, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, gross and fine motor coordination, balance and bone strength. But the benefits don’t stop there. Playing tennis goes beyond the physical aspect of the game, setting children up for lifelong skills that can be applied on and off the court. “When you first start out in group lessons, you are learning


to socialize, make friends and take turns,” Dahm says. “Then when you start competing, you learn to rely on yourself and what you need to do to win the match.” He adds, “A lot of playing tennis is conditioning, and developing a player that moves well, is thoughtful and strategic, and can control their emotions. Tennis builds those great attributes for playing sports, and for life, in general.” But above all, the main goal is for children to have fun. “Tennis at Pottawatomie offers a positive introduction to tennis, to help build confidence and a love for the game, but most importantly, we want kids to have fun,” says Megan Hatheway, athletic supervisor. For children just starting out, or seeking one-on-one training, Pottawatomie and Norris offer private lessons. Norris has a long history of providing tennis to the community. The facility dates back to 1975, and along the way, instructors have seen players develop into tennis athletes in high school and college. “We have had kids who have started here, progressed through high school and played in college. Seeing those kids grow up on the court is pretty neat,” says Dahm, who has worked for Norris since 2005. For more information about tennis at Pottawatomie, visit or call 630-584-1885. For more information about the Norris tennis program, visit or call Bill Dahm at 630-377-1407. All programs are subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Season Opening!

RAILWAY MUSEUM MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Summer Begins - Memorial Day Weekend! Steam, Diesel Electric Trains will run all three days. August 1st - 30

Annual Vintage Transport Extravaganza! This is one of the largest Antique Vehicle Shows in the entire state! Th

July 10Th - 11Th & 17Th -18Th Visitors will have the opportunity to ride on trains behind Thomas and Percy and meet Sir Topham Hatt, plus enjoy a variety of Family friendly activities!

August 6th - 8th - DIESEL DAYS!

Feel the ground shake beneath your feet as you see, hear, and ride behind some of the most powerful locomotives ever built.

Go to for timetable and admission info.


7000 Olson Road • Union IL 60180 • 800-BIG-RAIL or 815-923-4000 FAMILY IN FOCUS JUNE 2021

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Sorry, too busy Use this phrase with caution, especially when it comes to parental visits


his is it, people. The moment you’ve been rehearsing in your mind for more than a year has finally arrived.

It’s summer. And, by that, I don’t just mean “summer.” We’re talking “The Summer,” the one in which everything goes back to normal, or at least as close as we can get. Baseball stadiums and beaches will be full again (and not just in Florida). Outdoor concerts will bump. Festivals will fiesta, and parades will march. Fireworks will light up the night sky once more. Many of us will undoubtedly hit the road, heading out on those longdelayed family vacations — or non-family getaways, as your situation and needs warrant. No judgment here. Life as we knew it will return, though, admittedly with a few alterations. And to my thinking, it wouldn’t be so bad if some of those alterations stuck with us a bit longer. For instance, even with restaurants returning to full capacity, would it be so bad to keep just a bit of space between the tables? Dining is much more enjoyable without a side of your neighbor’s elbow, or without risking your conversation being drowned out by a loud talker situated 2 feet to your left. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be just fine with cities continuing to convert downtown streets into alfresco food fairs — at least on weekends, if not all summer long. But another change that should linger? A bit more judicious use of the phrase: “Sorry, too busy.”


For the past year, most of us haven’t even had to consider how to respond to invitations to attend events here and there, those occasions that once dotted our calendars: weddings, birthday parties, cookouts, graduations and other sundry gatherings of family and friends. In the past year, the busyness has come all on its own, in its own peculiar way. Many of us who fancied ourselves Masters of Time and Balancers of Schedules found ourselves, amid the scramble to make sense of the new reality, trying desperately to decipher how it is the hours of the day still managed to run away from us, like bathwater down the drain, no matter how incessantly we tried to plug the gap. Now, reemerging into the old pace may feel like merging onto the interstate from a cul-de-sac. It’s jarring. Others will undoubtedly embrace it, as we exult in the rush of the helter-skelter, trying to make up for lost time. But as the world reopens, may I recommend we again consider those big reasons we gave for locking down — or at least taking precautions — in the first place? Namely, for the purposes of this missive, allow me to put in a word for dear old mom and dad. You know, those people so many of you said you were trying to protect by staying home? Sure, many of us have, shall we say, complicated relationships with our folks. But if you’ve spent the past year terrified at the thought of passing on a deadly respiratory disease to ol’ ma and pa, this is it: the moment you’ve said you’ve wanted, to go back and see them.

And, as an aging dad, contemplating the moment when my young ones are no longer so young themselves and head out on their own, I can tell you they are most likely also looking forward to the moment you again knock on their door — and not just on the greeting card holidays in May and June that guilt us into putting up with them for a few hours. So, after the initial post-pandemic obligatory visit, just before the coming blizzard of long-delayed social functions, sporting events, concerts and more, can we resolve to be a bit more sparing with the phrase, “Sorry, too busy,” when our parents just want to see us a few more times before they pass? Because, if we emerge from a pandemic and just return to normal, still trusting in the illusion of the promise of tomorrow, we — and our parents — may be left wondering: Were we actually even paying attention?

 Jonathan Bilyk writes about the triumphs and travails of being a modernday dad who legitimately enjoys time with his family, while tolerating a dog that seems to adore him. He also doesn’t really like the moniker “Superdad” because it makes it sound like he wants to wear his undergarments on the outside of his pants. (Also, the cape remains on back order.)


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 To learn more about Peppeard Design, visit or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You can also purchase home decor items at or at Trend + Relic, located at 1501 Indiana Ave. in St. Charles.

‘I WANT THE SPACE TO BE reflective of




hen Shannon Peppeard started her interior design company in 2006, she envisioned her business being a part-time endeavor while she stayed home to care for her first child. But thanks to her quality work and word-of-mouth promotion, Peppeard Design quickly catapulted into a thriving business.

“I often get asked by clients, ‘How did you figure out my style?'” Peppeard says. "I just know at some point during the initial meeting with a client the direction I am going to take. I want the space to be reflective of them. My goal with every project is to leave my client's home after the final reveal having it feel like their home, not mine." Her favorite part of the job is the final reveal of spaces.

Today, the St. Charles company serves clients throughout Chicago and its suburbs as well as Florida, Wisconsin and Indiana. And that reach has expanded even more as of late — with the expansion of The Pep Line, a retail line available online and in a local Tri-Cities vintage shop.

After 12 years of working as an interior designer, Peppeard attended a conference that ended up being a game changer for her business. It inspired Peppeard to start an online retail shop, The Pep Line, in 2018. It began with a pillow line, then expanded to home decor.

For Peppeard, design is a natural instinct of seeing how color, texture and scale work together. “My family all saw talent in me in my earlier years. I would always be rearranging furniture when I was younger in my own home growing up and in all my aunts' homes," she says, adding that initially she thought everyone understood design elements before realizing that was an innate talent.

Peppeard “has always favored modern traditional design with bold, warm styling and a mix of both vintage and modern,” according to The Pep Line’s website. This style inspired her curated line, which focuses on livable design and includes kitchen goods, rugs, wall decor, vases, pet accessories and more.

She first realized interior design could be a career after taking a design class in college. However, after college she took a detour into a more lucrative career in mutual funds before circumstances led her back to her passion.

Last fall Peppeard partnered with Trend + Relic to sell her retail wares in a booth at the store. When Trend + Relic expanded its retail space this spring, she was offered an opportunity to be a part of that move.

A big part of her success comes within the first hour of meeting with new clients during a consultation, a time when she gets an idea of what people want to do with their homes.

“People who might not be able to afford a designer now have an opportunity to purchase home decor items I’d use in my clients’ homes and put in their own homes,” Peppeard says. HOME & LIFESTYLE JUNE 2021

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ees are always on my mind. They are fascinating creatures that have an unfounded bad reputation (ground wasps, which look like honeybees, and yellow jackets are really the jerks of the stinging insect world). They’re also the hardest working critters on the planet. Did you know that a bee only produces onetwelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its LIFETIME?! Bees fly upward of 50,000 miles in order to produce a pound of honey, visiting about 2 million flowers. It’s important that we understand the role of honeybees in the garden and help make their job a little easier. Honeybees have been around for millions of years, and they are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life — enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water. Worker bees produce honeycomb by eating honey produced from collecting nectar from flowers. An average worker bee only lives six to eight weeks and usually dies of exhaustion. Many people are afraid of “bees,” but it’s important to know who is actually doing the stinging. Worker bees (females) sting but only if they feel threatened. Unfortunately, they die after stinging. The Queen rarely stings as she doesn’t usually leave the hive. Drones (males) don’t sting, either. The bees visiting your flowers have one thing in mind: Find food. They are “busy as bees” and usually don’t have problems with you even if you are nearby admiring them or gardening. Even as I’m sitting here typing this outside on my laptop, a huge bumblebee is hanging out about 10 inches from me on a plant, happy as

can be! We’ve become best friends! The importance of honeybees is immeasurable. Approximately one-third of the food Americans eat is derived from honeybee pollination. While we certainly wouldn’t starve if the honeybee disappeared, we would no longer have access to foods such as broccoli, almonds, cucumbers, cherries, avocados (gasp!), blueberries, apples and more. Not to mention food prices would skyrocket if farmers had to use other measures to pollinate crops. What can you do to help our honeyproducing friends? Plant a succession of flowers in your garden. Bees are always looking for nectar and pollen. Flowers that bloom at different times help stagger their food sources. Use native plants. Natives haven’t been bred for disease resistance or other characteristics that can decrease their pollen/nectar output. Use pesticides sparingly. Find out exactly what undesired pest is bothering your plants and ask what’s the best way to attack. Sometimes common pests can be controlled with organic methods that don’t require broadcast spraying that can harm bees and other beneficial insects. Plant different-sized flowers. Bees are attracted to lots of different colors, and different species of bees are attracted to different sizes of flowers.

Let us grow them into the garden of your dreams.

While bees are often feared, these mighty little guys are beneficial to us and should be left to their own devices. Help them by planting lots of flowers and by spreading the word that bees are our friends.

Sources: http://www.benefits-of-honey. com/honey-bee-facts.html, http://

Meagan Provencher is the Senior Landscape Designer for Wasco Nursery & Garden Center in St. Charles. The Nursery fields are home to over 10 active honeybee hives. Stop in for some of our honey! 630-584-4424,


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Lights, inviting furniture and flowers can make your space an outdoor oasis


inter felt fairly long this year, but the time is finally here to get out and enjoy the outdoors. We have some great tips to get your home and outdoor spaces summer ready so you can maximize your enjoyment this summer.


getting flowers appropriate for your sun level to help them flourish. I am a big fan of container gardens for both flowers and many fruits and vegetables. The container pots are a whole other level of decor to add to your space.

Cozy up your outdoor spaces by using some softer materials. Placing rugs and outdoor pillows can really improve a space’s style and comfort level. Bold and colorful really make these spaces pop!

Don’t forget the mulch! Mulch is a great way to make your yard look finished, so make sure to clean up those planting beds and get a fresh layer of mulch down. Not only will it look great, but your plants will thank you as the mulch helps retain moisture for the plants.

Color is key. Amp up a space and even detract from eyesores in the yard, all using bold colors. Setting up a seating area in a location where grass has been hard to grow changes the use and can hide imperfections in the space.

Having an outdoor party or just like to enjoy your space in the evening? Adding some lights — lanterns, string lights, etc. — can create another layer of sophistication and practicality to increase the time you can spend in these spaces.

Flowers and plants add a lot of vibrance and personality to your outdoor spaces. Whether you have a go-to flower or like to mix it up, the colors will add flair and sophistication. Just make sure you are

You don’t need a large yard to enjoy the space; just take some care in choosing pieces and playing with the placement of the items to maximize its potential. If you have a small yard, place seating areas


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$0*3/*3! 9" :,/*3! ' :.<#Talk to the Tamara O’Connor Team First! It does matter who you list your home with… Call this dynamic Mother/Daughter Team.

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near a fence or against a wall so they can look out to the space. Don’t overwhelm a small space with too many different colors or patterns. Simplify to a singlecolor palette and one main pattern to keep the space visually organized. What if you don’t have a yard? No worries! If you have a balcony, here are some tips to love the space you have. First, keep it simple. Find a couple versatile and comfortable pieces to outfit your space. A container pot or three can help add some greenery, and don’t forget a small side table to hold your coffee or

cocktail. If you have exterior wall space, use it! Get some wall hanging plants or decor to liven up the space. There are some great outdoor tables that secure to a wall and fold flat against it when not in use — those are fantastic for this type of space. No matter your space or your budget, there are many easy ways to get your outdoor space looking its best. Have fun, play with colors and patterns, and keep it neat, and you will have a great space begging you to go outside whenever you look at it!

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the inside of your home In every room, stand at entryways and look at the room through the eye of a buyer. What do you see? Be tough on yourself. What items can you live without while your home is on the market?



IUB4! 4UU ,ORBB /4-UBQ 4:F Q[FB /4-UBQA ' Q<4UU 6O!4U 4!!4:KB<B:/ ,4: -B 4 :[,B touch. Remove personal photos and other extra items

• • • • • •

IUB4! OR /"B F[:[:K !OO< /4-UB BM,B*/ for a nice centerpiece. Remove any tablecloths or placemats. Remove extra dining room chairs if they crowd up the room or take up the corners of the room. Typically 4-6 chairs are plenty. The room will look bigger. Store the extra chairs in garage or storage unit. Removing or reducing the number of items in a space applies here too. ZB<O3B ,OUUB,%O:Q 4:F VO,TQ O: ,UB4: and neutral decor.


Have carpets professionally cleaned or replaced before going on the market. Replace burnt out light bulbs and make sure all the same tone. In some places you may need a "[K"B! 14C4KB /O -![:K <O!B U[K"/ [:A Make sure lights are on for showings. Repair and repaint walls & ceilings as needed. GBT/!4UD U[K"/ ,OUO!Q 4!B -BQ/A Repair or replace broken or dirty light switch and/or outlet covers. 6. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day and remove heavy draperies and valances. 7. Reduce the number of throw pillows. 8. Neatly stow away afghans and blankets 9. Pack up valuables. 10. Take a hard look at your household plants. Do /"BL :BBF /O -B *!T:BF# '!B /"BL "B4U/"L# '!B /"BL /OO U4!KB VO! /"B Q*4,BA (B*B:F[:K O: those answers they may need to be tended to or relocated. 8A

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Call/text at 630-485-4214 | SM-CL1880573



Make sure you have an appropriate size rug by the front door. GO ,UTCB!D 4Q /"[Q Q*4,B QB/Q /"B /O:B for the home.

11. Fireplaces should be cleaned and mantles ,UB4!BF ORA 98A Clean any glass doors or displays. 13. 0O ,!B4/B <O!B Q*4,B QO<B%<B LOT "43B /O remove a piece of furniture. Pack up all ,OUUB,%O:Q /"4/ 14L /"BL 1[UU -B !B4FL /O KO /O your next home. 14. Reduce the number of books on shelves. 15. ZBFT,B /"B :T<-B! OV *"O/OQ 4:F *4[:%:KQA 16. WON <TQ[, ,4: -B 4 :[,B -4,XK!OT:F VO! showings when possible. 17. JB QB:Q[%3B /O OFO!QA ZB<O3B 4[! V!BQ"B:B!Q 4Q /"BL 4!B ONB: /OO Q/!O:K 4:F 43O[F smoking in a home. 18. Wash windows and open then prior to selling /O ,O:E!< 4UU 4!B O*B!4%O:4UA 19. If you have windows that are “fogged” look [:/O KB@:K /"B< !B*4[!BF7!B*U4,BFA 8;A Complete the “honey-do” list of minor repairs around your home. Lose cabinet pulls etc.

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Repair countertops and edges that may have been damaged or consider replacing. Clean grout if it has become stained. Remove all items from the fridge. [ABA H4K:B/QD *"O/OQD B/,A Clean the stove top and oven. IUB4: 4UU /"B BM"4TQ/ V4:QD EU/B!Q 4:F hoods. IUB4: /"B X[/,"B: 6OO! 4:F XBB* [/ ,UB4: for showings. Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty. Make sure the kitchen faucet is working and clean out under the sink. Make sure there are no leaks. )*F4/B O! !B*U4,B U[K"%:KA Remove or reduce small rugs. Too many can make a space look smaller. Empty the garbage regularly to prevent odors. Hide away your garbage can when possible. Move pet dishes & beds so they do not [:/B!VB!B 1[/" /!4Y, *4CB!:QA

BEDROOMS • • • • •

Make the beds daily. S:3BQ/ [: 6TRLD O3B!Q[.BFD 1"[/B O! U[K"/D solid colored bedding. P[:K Q[.BF -BFQ Q"OTUF "43B 5 *[UUO1QD =TBB: 5 *[UUO1QD Q<4UUB! -BFQ 8 *[UUO1QA HO!B *[UUO1Q ,!B4/B [:3[%:K Q*4,BQA W/O!B BM/!4 -OOXQD <4K4.[:BQ 4:F ,OUUB,%O:Q OT/ OV Q[K"/A Most bedrooms should have at least 1 nightstand by the bed. Make sure the nightstand has a lamp and is free of ,UTCB! 4:F *B!QO:4U [/B<QA S: ,"[UF!B:>Q !OO<QD !B<O3B *OQ/B!Q 4:F BM,BQQ /OLQ7,UTCB!A &!B*4[! :4[U "OUBQ and paint if needed)


H4XB QT!B 6OO![:K [Q ,UB4: 4:F !B<O3B personal photos if any. Floor vents and cold air return covers should be cleaned/painted or replace


Reduce amount of items in closets. Closets should look like you can add <O!B [/B<Q B4Q[UL 4:F 6OO!Q Q"OTUF -B clear. Storage is a deciding factor for buyers.

Organize soaps and cleaners in cabinets O! O:/O 4 FB,O!4%3B /!4LA 2TQ/ U[XB /"B X[/,"B:D [/ [Q -BQ/ /O XBB* ,OT:/B!Q ,UB4: 4:F ,UTCB! V!BBA Remove excess hangers and put away drying racks during showings. 'FF FB,O!4/B -4QXB/Q /O "[FB :B,BQQ4!L items.




Rent a storage unit Have a garage sale Donate to charity $!K4:[.B 4:F *T/ [/ [: /"B 4@, Store it in the basement Use part of the garage 'QX 4 V![B:F O! V4<[UL <B<-B! [V they can store for you

PET TIPS • • •

Remove or cage pets for showings. ZB<O3B7"[FB ,4/ U[CB! -OMBQ 4:F ,4/ /O1B!QA 'QX TQ VO! [FB4Q+ Move pet dishes & beds so they do not [:/B!VB!B 1[/" /!4Y, *4CB!:QA

• • •

• • • • • • •

IUB4! OR /"B ,OT:/B!QA ZBFT,B /O[UB/![BQ FO1: /O 4 FB,O!4%3B VB1 4:F *U4,B O: FB,O!4%3B /!4L O! Q<4UU -4QXB/A Coordinate towels. White is the best and the easiest in most spaces. Fold into thirds and hang neatly. 0!L /O XBB* LOT! Q"O1B! B<*/LA '/ the very least reduce amount of in Q"O1B! [/B<Q /O Q"4<*OO7,O:F[%O:B! and soap. &<4:L *BO*UB FB,[FB /O TQB 4

shower caddy when home is on the market to easily grab all items and remove daily)

Clean or replace the shower curtain. White or light solid color is best. ?O O3B! LOT! -4/"!OO< %UB 4:F K!OT/ with cleaner to brighten and remove any mildew staining. Many tubs and showers need a fresh bead of caulk to neaten them up. Remove any toilet seat covers and close the lids for showings. ZB<O3B BM,BQQ Q<4UU !TKQA SV :BBFBFD use just one in front of the shower or tub. Tuck away all cleaning supplies and make sure under sinks are neat and free of leaks. )*F4/B U[K"%:K 4:F ,4-[:B/ "4!F14!BA

5.38*341% .& 7,+(

*Information from brokermetrics, mred, llc as of 12/30/2020


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The size of the Morton Arboretum’s newest exhibit rivals its infamous trees By Kelley White | Photos provided by the Morton Arboretum

Trees. Trails. Tours. And… towering sculptures? You can now find all of the above at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “Human+Nature,” the Arboretum’s newest exhibit, opened in May. Now you can appreciate the outdoors while exploring the work of globally renowned artist Daniel Popper, whose admiration for the natural


world is reflected in his larger-than-life creations. This summer — and on display for at least a year — the Arboretum will showcase five mammoth sculptures, purposefully placed throughout the 1,700 acres. Visitors to the exhibit will experience Popper’s largest creations to date, achieved using fiberglass, concrete and steel. Within the constructions he also incorporates some wood materials, a practice he often uses when creating his sizable sculptures. Daniel Popper began his journey with the

Arboretum in 2019, says Sarah Sargent, manager of interpretation and exhibits at the Morton Arboretum. She says he visited on-site and selected five different areas to grace the “great outdoor museum of trees” with artistry that forges a strong connection between humans and the natural landscape. Since then, he has been in continual communication with the Arboretum from his home in South Africa, providing sketches and 3D models to illustrate his designs, which range in height from 15 to


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Visit for tickets and more information on “Human+Nature.”

26 feet. Popper and the Arboretum seek to draw admirers to areas they may not have been before while creating pieces that hold “resonance with the places” in which they will be assembled. The exhibit features strong feminine and humanistic components. One of Popper’s signature designs, an open-hearted female figure entitled “Hallow,” has been reimagined for the Morton Arboretum, says Sargent. A sculpture titled “UMI,” a word that roughly translates to “mother” or “creation” in several different languages, will sit near the park’s magnolia collection. “Heartwood” will be a figure looking out over the DuPage River valley with an open face, featuring a thumbprint and tree rings to symbolize “imprints.” The entrance to the East Woods natural area will become home to a sculpture entitled “Sentient.” Lastly, a 37-foot-long open pair of hands entitled “Basilica” will be nestled among a grove of 100-year-old oak trees. Its placement holds significance, Sargent says, as restoration and conservation are successfully achieved at the

Arboretum through the “work of many hands.” Similarly, Popper’s art will in turn be constructed with the same sentiment; his team, along with regional experts, will make the exhibit a true communal effort. Visitors will appreciate the significance of each piece’s placement throughout the Arboretum, as they will be able to explore the exhibit among the cool shade of trees. For those who prefer to drive, each piece can be accessed by car as well. The Arboretum sought to have at least one of Popper’s pieces in the core area of the park while also featuring them in different locations to give visitors a reason to go for a light hike or wander to spaces they may not have been before, Sargent says. The exhibit takes on a deeper meaning after a year like 2020, in which many people found respite in time outdoors. “It was always an exhibit that celebrated the human need for nature and how nature needs humans to thrive,” says Sargent.

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LISA DIENST-THOMAS The Tri-Cities are booming with arts and artists — perhaps nowhere more vibrantly than Batavia’s Water Street Studios, which hosts events, galleries and up to 25 artists in residence. Each month, Kane County Magazine and Water Street Studios are partnering to highlight artists and their work.



rt has been a way of life for Lisa Dienst-Thomas for as long as she can remember.

The longtime Batavia resident says she “grew up always tinkering and creating.” This meant knitting, crocheting, sewing, designing her own clothes and more. Now her work centers around jewelry design.

As one of the original artists in residence at Water Street Studios, Dienst-Thomas says she values the energy of her fellow artists. “I knew it was going to be a wonderful place to create. I am forever grateful to founding member Sharon Sychta for telling me about Water Street Studios when it was still in planning stages,” she says. Dienst-Thomas currently attends graduate school at Northern Illinois University in the School of Art and Design. “I thoroughly enjoy seeing the work of the emerging artists in all media in my school,” she says. When her classes went remote due to the pandemic, she delved further into computer-aided design, specifically a modeling program called Rhino 3D. The program, she says, allows her to design and create components for her three-dimensional jewelry.

“My current work resembles my previous work in that I create unique large scale art jewelry; frequently necklaces inspired by flowers mostly in nylon,” she says. “The dimensionality I can create in this exciting new format is so lightweight that I am able to create pieces larger than I have ever attempted.” In her last semester of work, Dienst-Thomas tested different ways to dye the nylon materials. “The brightly colored results really make my sterling silver components pop!” she adds.



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DETAILS OF LISA DIENST-Thomas' WORK: To purchase or learn more about her creations, visit or www.  RAFFLESIA KEITHII NECKLACE: nylon, shown on her son Dylan Thomas  ORANGE AND PINK BROOCH/NECKLACE: nylon and sterling silver  TEAL AND RED BROOCH/NECKLACE: nylon and sterling silver  TEAL RING: nylon and sterling silver

Lisa Dienst-Thomas has been at Water Street Studios since its founding. She creates art jewelry, teaches metalsmithing classes and attends graduate school classes at Northern Illinois University.

For more information on the artist of the month, head to or the organization’s social media pages.


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f you are an owner in a private business, you know how critical a competitive retirement plan (Plan) is in order for you to recruit, retain and reward your employees. What you may not know is the fiduciary liability that your company (Plan Sponsor) incurs when you do offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan. The last thing you want is to get tied up in court after having been sued by a current or former employee (Plan Participant) over the investment options or the administration of the plan. Even though you have expertise in your business, you may not have expertise in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and how it and related regulation applies to you and your business partners. Let’s take a moment to identify some of your liabilities, and then we can discuss how to mitigate them.  KEY LIABILITIES The Plan Sponsor has key fiduciary liabilities for both the administration of the retirement plan as well as for the investment options being offered. Let’s take a quick, broad look at these two categories. • ERISA Section 502 establishes certain monetary penalties for failures to distribute timely information to Plan Participants and beneficiaries, or to timely report required information to the Department of Labor as required of fiduciaries under ERISA Section 3(16). The list of required notifications is long and can be a challenge to stay on top of, and the penalties can be painfully punitive. Many of the penalties are formulaic and can be composed of a daily charge per Plan Participant in addition to a flat daily penalty.



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• The Plan Sponsor also has specific liabilities as they relate to the investment options made available to the Plan Participants. As you may imagine, there are extensive regulations to pay heed to, including the following: ° ERISA Section 3(21) relates to your fiduciary responsibilities for fund selection and monitoring responsibilities. ° ERISA Section 3(38) concerns your fiduciary responsibility to identify and replace funds that are failing the terms of the Plan’s Investment Policy Statement.  WHAT TO DO? If you are reading this article and realize that you don’t recall having liability for these items, you are not alone. Most private business owners we come across have long forgotten that they were liable for these areas. To go a step further, many have not reviewed their plan in years. If your Plan review file is skinny, now is the time to begin to build a defense and to

work with a firm like ours. We will help you put the plan out for a competitive bid, and we will provide options for you to contractually mitigate your fiduciary liabilities.  SUMMARY With major mutual fund companies that are household names and are in the Retirement Plans business getting successfully sued by their employees over plan fiduciary errors, what chance does your private business have to avoid a similar fate? Why even run the risk? It is important to reach out to a plan advisor who is willing to contractually function as a fiduciary on your firm’s retirement plan. Don’t put your life’s work at risk. Give us a call!

This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor, or plan provider. FILE# 3593147.1

Photo by Indre Cantero

 Tom McCartney and Sharon Piet are teammates at My Advisor & Planner and are Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives with M Securities. Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer and Investment Adviser, Member FINRA/SIPC. My Advisor & Planner is independently owned and operated. Tom and Sharon can be reached at, at 630-457-4068, or you can visit them at

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC). My Advisor & Planner is independently owned and operated. File #0709-2018


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E M I T R E M SUM Are you ? d e r e : v S o Y c TO T

here are plenty of toys to consider in the summertime: boats, jet skis, classic or custom cars, and even private golf carts. Regardless of who owns these toys, the bigger they are, the more likely they need to be insured. All are dangerous! Let’s go into detail on some of the more common toys we play with now or aspire to play with when we retire.

 SPECIAL CARS Antiques, classics and custom vehicles are seen at various car shows and riding around on a Sunday afternoon. While they look amazing, they are considerably different to insure than your regular, everyday vehicle for work or travel. Some of the major insurance companies will insure them like a “regular” vehicle, but that usually means a depreciated value. You want to make sure you insure these vehicles at the value it would take to replace them or for the amount you have invested in them. This is called “Stated Value.” Even if you have this “toy” that only comes out on nice summer days, it still needs insurance in case of an accident.  WATERCRAFT Boats (from speed boats to fishing boats to pontoons), jet skis and even a personal submarine


may be out in the water every day. Rules of the road still apply to safety and impairment. If you drive it, you are responsible for it. That means if someone gets hurt by your actions, or something gets damaged, or someone hurts you, then you need to be insured. Picture yourself casting a fishing pole from your pontoon boat and it catches the arm of the person going by on a jet ski and they blast onto shore and hit a parked Maserati. There is a lot of liability there and you will be glad you had the right coverage package!  SPECIAL TRANSPORT Here we are talking about all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and golf carts. ATVs are incredibly fun, but can also be dangerous. They are also expensive. Going full throttle through the woods is fine until you turn too fast to avoid hitting the beaver that just walked across your path! The tree you hit typically doesn’t give very much.

Next come the dangers of the golf cart. Not the ones at the golf course, but rather the private ones in vacation communities. Some of these are driven by people that should not drive cars, but are full steam ahead in the carts. I’m talking about the 10-year-old who thinks he is ready for NASCAR. They may not seem like much, but hitting someone

will cause damage that you as owner would be liable for even though it was “just a golf cart.”

 TRAILERS Be sure to include the coverage for the trailer that carries the boat, or ATV, or assorted toy. The wheel comes off at 70 mph, and suddenly the coverage becomes important!  MOBILE HOMES AND POP-UP CAMPERS Some of these mobile homes are more expensive than a regular house. Having them properly covered is critical. The pop-ups are affordable, but they also have inherent risks that should be accounted for.  UMBRELLA COVERAGE This handy insurance tool can be expanded to cover each of the toys described above in case of a serious accident and lawsuit. Enjoy your summer, but also make sure your insurance professional has your toys covered properly so you can get the most fun with the best peace of mind. Trust me, I know a thing or two, because I’ve seen a thing or two! HARRY STOUT – FARMERS INSURANCE St. Charles, IL 60174


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Home Is Where the Hearth Is

Visit our show room to see over 40 burning models on display. See a wide selection of electric, gas, and wood fireplaces designed to enhance the warmth and beauty of your home. You’ll also find a full line of mantels, fireplace screens, and hearth accessories to complete the picture.

Sales • Service • Installation

1255 Bowes Road, Elgin (847) 741-6464 • Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Vintage Charm. Modern Amenities. Timeless Cra!smanship.. We Bring Dreams to Life.

This “Turn-Of-The-Century” estate in Geneva, Illinois by Havlicek Builders showcases the attention to detail and craftsmanship that we put into each and every home we build. Our design artfully combines the charm and details of a vintage estate with modern amenities that make this home perfect for entertaining, such as an open floor plan, a beautifully appointed first floor guest bedroom suite, as well as a cozy finished basement with bar, exercise room, and bath. This dream home belongs to our client, but yours is just a phone call away. With hundreds of satisfied clients since 1983, Havlicek Builders has never wavered from our dedication to building the finest quality luxury homes with the utmost attention to customer service. Give us a call today, and let us show you how to make your dream luxury home a reality.


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